Friday, 17 September 2010

This week I have been WHINGING relentlessly about matters over which I have no control

Whether it's my latest job, which sees me dealing with disgruntled, downright outraged (and, I expect, incredibly bored) people on a daily basis, or the definite autumn chill accompanying the sporadic bursts of rain outside, je ne pas. But this week's to-do list scribbled in the back of my WH Smith diary goes something like this:




You'd be forgiven for thinking that this is quite normal for a prolific whingebag like myself. Truth be told, I'm actually quite reasonable when it comes to Things That Annoy Me, and usually settle for a 140 character rant on Twitter, or a 500 word stint on the olde blog. It's a rare occasion that I direct my wrath at the company concerned.

I always remember the time when pinkjellybaby had a rant about a holiday company on her old blog (or something), and an eagle eyed company googler concerned duly got in touch and sorted out the problemo. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to happen too much these days. Even with the recent burst in generating online opinions on products, blogs are slipping down the radar when it comes to those who matter. Unless, of course, you're covered in ads and commanding enough hits to demand a company's attention. As much as I'd love to have this much blog-clout, it's a safe bet that for all our product pushing or lamenting, this blog, and most of yours, never will.

Saying that, there are a few companies whose headquarters are receiving a written spanking this week, from Chanel to Bose to HTC. Most notable, though, is STA Travel.

So far, they have ignored my e-mails (and calls) surrounding that rather minor issue of me being refused access onto a plane in New York while using their Round The World ticket. Ergo, I am no closer to recouping the £624 I was forced to shell out for a new flight home. So, after letting them break the code of conduct which gives them 29 days to respond, I've taken my complaint a step further.

If e-mailing, phoning and blogging about the matter won't help - then I suppose we'll have to leave it to ABTA to shove a foot firmly up their arse..
If there's any clout left in blogging, perhaps it's this.
Dear readers: there are a multitude of other companies who will give you a better deal and service than STA Travel. Take my experienced and considered word for it. If you're thinking of booking your next travel expedition with STA Travel - don't.


London-Lass said...

Good for you Jo for continuing to pursue this. Think a lot of companies believe that we (yep, us plebs) will too easily give up if our initial complaint is ignored and so do sod all after receiving our letter/fax/e-mail of complaint. Let's hope ABTA bend 'em over and take 'em right royally up their unprofessional catflaps.

James said...

I can't believe you even had to pay for another flight back to the UK. That is ridiculous.

And now they won't take responsibility. Brilliant.

Good luck!

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Do you know what punitive damages are? They're all the rage here in the U.S. Have been for years. I'd say you've been through enough emotional trauma to deserve compensation for your suffering. Show STA who they're dealing with. Teach 'em a lesson. Get litigious on their asses.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Good luck in your battle. Make sure you whip their arses!

Ellie said...

STA sounds like a STD (sexually transmitted disease).

Anonymous said...

Christ, have they still not sorted that out? I'd presumed (obviously wrongly) that once you'd got home they'd have just refunded the additional ticket cost.

not twitter said...

What about taking a placard down some Saturday? "Cheap flights, return not guaranteed though".
Alternatively "Check Unconfirmed New Tickets Straightaway".

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Londonlass - Here's hoping they will. Acknowledgement arrived in the post today from ABTA, I have 14 days to wait for a decision.

James - I was told from the start of the whole thing in the airport that I'd have to buy a new ticket. Thank god I have parents who could be woken up at 3:30am and could lend me the cash for it.

Unbearable - Haha. Well, now you mention it, the thought of getting on a plane does give me the shudders and its nothing to do with flying. It's fear of NOT flying. Would that work?

Around - Oh, I will. Or maybe I'll let ABTA do it.

Ellie - Well spotted. And the similarities don't end there. More irritating, probably.

Perp - Nope, the whole thing is dragging into it's second month. You'd think it would be easier than this, no?

Not Twitter - I love the 'No return garanteed' sign idea. Russell Square branch, here I come.


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